• Cindy Chavez

Pending Home Sales Tumble to 4-Year Low in Latest Sign the Housing-Market Correction Has Arrived

Updated: Dec 19, 2018

The numbers: U.S. pending home sales slid 2.6% to a reading of 102.1 in October from 104.8 in September, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday. That was the lowest since June 2014.

What happened: NAR’s index, which tracks real estate contract signings, was down 6.7% compared to a year ago. The report missed the Econoday consensus for an unchanged reading.

Contract signings usually precede closings by about 45 days, so the pending home sales release is considered a leading indicator for the existing-home sales report.

In October, pending sales in the Northeast rose 0.7%. It was the only region to see an increase. In the Midwest, sales fell 1.8%, in the South they fell 1.1%, and in the West they tumbled 8.9%.

Big picture: The housing picture is growing darker. The Realtors trade group now expects sales of existing homes to decline 3.1% in 2018, and another 0.4% in 2019. The group also forecasts home prices will fall 2.5% next year.can do.